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World – Bleak global jobs outlook

17 February 2014

Weak global growth had a cascading effect on hiring activities across most regions in 2013, according to the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Global Employment Trends 2014 report. Notwithstanding a +1.9% rise in South Asia hiring, employment rates saw a decline in most parts of the world in 2013, reports thehindubusinessline.com.

Nevertheless, the increase in South Asia recruitment was sufficient to make up for the slippage, resulting in the global employment growth rate remaining unchanged at 1.4% last year.

The ILO expects the global unemployment rate to increase from 6% in 2013 to 6.1% in 2014. It has also projected that the number of unemployed will rise by 4.2 million during the year. Despite signs of economic recovery in developed economies, the job market continues to be lacklustre. While the unemployment rate is expected to gradually decline, by 2018, it will still be around 8% –above pre-crisis levels.

Unemployment rates in non-EU countries and the Commonwealth of Independent States have been decreasing since 2009. This witnessed a reversal in 2013, with a +0.2 percentage point increase in the number of people without jobs. It’s possible that job growth may remain muted in the future too. In the South-East Asian and Pacific region (including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand), hiring activities grew by +1.6% in 2013.

East Asia (including China, Hong Kong, and Korea) saw +0.7% employment growth. Despite the fastest growth in employment in 2013 and an unemployment rate averaging only 4%, all is not well with South Asian labour markets, including India. This is because a large part of the jobs are in the poorly paid and unprotected informal sector, which is unlikely to change in the near term.


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